How to make your home workspace more enjoyable, according to Marie Kondo

 

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Work From Home Setup Tips According To Marie Kondo

Work From Home Setup Tips According To Marie Kondo

Create a perfect work-from-home environment
How to make your home workspace more enjoyable, according to Marie Kondo

 

10'000 Hours/DigitalVision via Getty Images

With the spread of coronavirus, the way we function as employees has changed drastically. Living rooms and kitchens are now offices, the people we live with are our new coworkers and daily virtual meetings are the new norm. This new, swift change has turned us all on our heads.

If you’re struggling to work from home, you’re likely not alone. But reimagining your ideal workspace could be the trick you need to make work more enjoyable. So we turned to the organization hack queen herself, Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo is a tidying expert and best-selling author known for her Netflix original show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.”  

Here are a few tips Kondo has shared on how to create your perfect workspace while working effectively from home.  

Imagine your ideal workspace

Imagine your ideal workspace

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According to Kondo, one way to organize your home is to envision your ideal lifestyle and imagine how you would like your home to look. The same applies to your workspace. Kondo suggests drawing or sketching what it might look like, or, if you find examples online or in magazines, cutting them out to assist with the envisioning process. 

Declutter your workspace

Declutter your workspace

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Decluttering your work environment will boost your productivity and bring you joy. Classify items essential to completing your work and sort them in a designated spot. According to Kondo, a box or portable carrier can replace typical organization spaces if you don’t have an office.

Give everything a home

Give everything a home

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Keep your workspace decluttered by giving everything a home, or, in Kondo’s words, a designated spot for it to rest when not in use. According to Kondo, more often than not, a space isn’t cluttered because there are too many items within it, rather it’s likely due to a failure to find a place where the items belong. 

Add something that brings joy to your desk

Add something that brings joy to your desk

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Instead of sprucing up your space with unnecessary papers, add one thing that brings happiness to your desk. Beautiful flowers, a family photo or whatever makes you feel at peace.

Keep the items that bring you joy organized

Keep the items that bring you joy organized

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Once you identify the items in your space that spark joy, Kondo advises the importance of keeping them organized. According to the tidying expert, one organization hack is to go through your drawers and sort your things in a way that sparks happiness. Seeing your items organized can contribute to your daily sense of stability.

Put things away if you’re using a multi-use space

Put things away if you’re using a multi-use space

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If your kitchen or family room is doubling as your office, set a clear distinction between the two when in use. At the end of your workday, place your work items out of sight so they don’t divert your attention away from family dinner or interrupt your downtime.

Freshen your air to help you focus

Freshen your air to help you focus

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While working or before the start of your workday, Kondo recommends diffusing an essential oil or dispersing a pleasant aroma that will please your sensibility. Candle making is a new hobby you can start with a DIY kit that can ignite your senses and give that extra boost you need. 

Indicate the beginning of each workday

Indicate the beginning of each workday

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Before the jumpstart of your workday, Kondo recommends taking a second to center yourself. Even if you’re not a morning person, using a simple technique to signal to your body that it’s time for work to be done can help you switch gears and get in the motion of work. Whether you’re diffusing essential oil, lighting a candle, or listening to a soothing tune, keep it simple and make a routine of it.

But also indicate the end of each workday

But also indicate the end of each workday

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Just as you would in the morning, Kondo suggests following a similar routine to indicate the end of your workday. Being consumed by all things work can quickly lead to burnout, so turn off your notifications and turn on whatever will best help you transition into the next part of your day.

Make a daily to-do list

Make a daily to-do list

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Create a daily to-do list of everything that needs to be done for the day, from walking the dog to completing an important work project. Mark each assignment with a check mark once it’s complete for a sense of accomplishment and to encourage you to move on to the next task.

Acknowledge the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’

Acknowledge the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’

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According to Kondo, we spend less than half of our workdays focusing on our main job obligations. Unimportant emails, non-essential tasks and interruptions can damage our chances of working successfully from home. Kondo advises acknowledging the difference between work responsibilities that are urgent and important and sorting through them that way. And once you’ve created your urgent to-do list, don’t allow those tasks to drain your time and energy.

Organize cords

Organize cords

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From our printers to our laptops, every device we use when working from home requires a power cord. One way to make your workspace more organized and, therefore, more enjoyable, is to organize these cords. Kondo suggests storing your cords in small pouches or bags when not in use to avoid entangling the few you have.

Organize your digital space

Organize your digital space

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It’s important to organize your inbox and clean your digital life. Keeping your digital space tidy is just as essential to productive work as keeping your workspace organized. Kondo recommends setting aside a few hours on your calendar to sort through your email and organize it by category. 

Schedule downtime

Schedule downtime

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Completing your daily work assignments is important, but, according to Kondo, scheduling downtime is just as critical. Highlight time on your schedule each week to get away from your work. Listen to music or take a walk around the block to stimulate your mind. Just a quick walk outside could change your life.

Schedule weekly workday calls with your team

Schedule weekly workday calls with your team

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Working away from a team can dampen the spirit, according to Kondo, so it’s important to make an effort to stay in touch with coworkers to receive the warmth of human interaction. Schedule weekly video chats or send audio notes to keep a connection going with your teammates — even when miles away.

Stay up to date with your family’s work schedule

Stay up to date with your family’s work schedule

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With the entire family stuck indoors, it’s important to stay up to date with everyone’s schedules. If you want to work in accordance with your family without the hassle of distractions, it’s essential to stay aware of everyone’s work schedule, according to Kondo. And after you’ve aligned your goals for the day, support one another by determining priorities.

After determining your priorities, decide how you can work together

After determining your priorities, decide how you can work together

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Share what you need from your partner for a successful day and work together to determine what you can offer one another to get things done. According to Kondo, writing down what you need can help you visualize what you’re thinking and come to a resolution that works for you both. Not only could prioritizing this step boost your work-from-home productivity, but it also might be the secret to helping your relationship with your partner last.

Separate your work essentials from your roommate’s

Separate your work essentials from your roommate’s

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Having a personal office is not a luxury we can all afford, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn a shared workspace into your own. Kondo suggests placing your partner’s or roommate’s tools in a separate tray and putting it away while you work. Do what’s best to create an environment that helps you focus.

Divvy your work necessities into separate categories

Divvy your work necessities into separate categories

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According to Kondo, classifying your work, like emails and paperwork, into three separate categories can spark joy. One category should be reserved for things that directly allow you to feel joy, the second for functional joy — or everyday things that make your work easier — and the last should be for things that will bring you joy in the future by contributing to future career endeavors.

Identify how the things you don’t enjoy can contribute to your future

Identify how the things you don’t enjoy can contribute to your future

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Work can be fun, but, at times, an overload of assignments or responsibilities can make even the simplest tasks seem unbearable. Kondo recommends looking to the future to recognize how unenjoyable work can have a beneficial impact. Invoices, she says, might not spark joy, but they allow you to financially plan to receive payment in the future.

Tidy your mind

Tidy your mind

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Your workspace isn’t the only place that should be kept clean and organized. It’s important to tidy up your mind as well. If your mind is at peace when you’re working, it will be easier to be effective and efficient, according to Kondo. Worries, stress and anxieties can hinder your work and affect your overall product.

Embrace meditation

Embrace meditation

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Meditation is a fun new skill you can learn at home that will boost your mood and get your day started on the right note. You can meditate in the morning at the start of your day or at night before bed. If meditating at the end of your day, Kondo recommends focusing on and appreciating what you were able to accomplish rather than what you failed to get done.

Start your morning with good energy

Start your morning with good energy

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Start your day with a routine that will encourage you to be happy and productive. Kondo, for example, begins her day by opening the windows to let fresh air in and always gets dressed. Whether you decide to start your day by relaxing with a cup of tea or doing yoga, find what puts you in a good mood.

Establish a nighttime routine

Establish a nighttime routine

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Memory loss, a lack of motivation, depression and loss of creativity are only a few of the things that happen when you don’t get enough sleep. Establishing a nighttime routine is one of Kondo’s top productivity tips. A nighttime routine will allow you to wrap up any last-minute details, close your day on a good note and prepare you for a restful night of sleep.

Stay in tune with yourself

Stay in tune with yourself

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As important as it may be, work isn’t always the only thing on our minds. Add children, bills, daily responsibilities and more, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the stressors of life and fall behind on work assignments. Clear your mind and sort through thoughts to be more productive. Kondo recommends taking a blank sheet of paper and jotting down everything on your mind and clarifying issues you can control and those you cannot. And once you identify what can be managed, here are simple ways to deal with everyday stress

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